It is raining in Atlanta right now. I am sitting in my bedroom, listening to the rain. It is late enough, and I have to get up early, so I should be trying to fall asleep. The rain makes that journey easy. Something about the sound and the change in the air makes me feel more comfortable, relaxed, and at peace.
Trains too have this magical essence to them. Something about the rumble in the earth and the sound they make. Somehow these tactile experiences ignite my creativity and set my brain ablaze with ideas and dreams. The trick is getting them down before I drift away to sleep.
Many years ago, on my eleventh birthday something very odd happened. And sometimes on nostalgic nights like this the memory floods back into my thoughts. It was August in upstate New York. The day was hot, but pleasant. I had five or six friends over at our house for the party. We had just spent the better part of an hour pretending to be soldiers, knights, and all other manner of things boys pretend to be and we had come inside to do the birthday ritual of songs, cake, presents. My mother lit all the candles and as soon as she walked into the room, everyone started singing. I remember the moment of joy in seeing all these faces so happy just to be there and to celebrate the fact that we had all found one another. Then the song stopped, and just as it did the heavens opened.
My parent's house had a huge window in the living room. From where we were, we could plainly see all the precipitation that was falling into the front yard. For thirteen seconds the world was pounded by this falling surprise. The timing of the event struck me. It had been so clear that day. How could it rain so quickly, and then stop so suddenly?
My friend Aaron ran out into the front yard to discover that his suspicion was correct. It wasn't rain that had fallen - it was hail. Huge dime-sized chunks of ice covered the yard, and due to the heat of the summer, they instantly started to melt.
This moment brought a little magic into my world. Unexpected things, simple things, shared things - those are magical. It is experiences that make life the exciting thing that it is, and the rumble of trains and the roar of rain are both heralds to those moments. Or at least they are to me.
What sounds ignite your imagination?